Non-peptidic thrombospondin-1 mimics as fibroblast growth factor-2 inhibitors: An integrated strategy for the development of new antiangiogenic compounds

Giorgio Colombo, Barbara Margosio, Laura Ragona, Marco Neves, Silvia Bonifacio, Douglas S. Annis, Matteo Stravalaci, Simona Tomaselli, Raffaella Giavazzi, Marco Rusnati, Marco Presta, Lucia Zetta, Deane F. Mosher, Domenico Ribatti, Marco Gobbi, Giulia Taraboletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Endogenous inhibitors of angiogenesis, such as thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), are promising sources of therapeutic agents to treat angiogenesis-driven diseases, including cancer. TSP-1 regulates angiogenesis through different mechanisms, including binding and sequestration of the angiogenic factor fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2), through a site located in the calcium binding type III repeats. We hypothesized that the FGF-2 binding sequence of TSP-1 might serve as a template for the development of inhibitors of angiogenesis. Using a peptide array approach followed by binding assays with synthetic peptides and recombinant proteins, we identified a FGF-2 binding sequence of TSP-1 in the 15-mer sequence DDDDDNDKIPDDRDN. Molecular dynamics simulations, taking the full flexibility of the ligand and receptor into account, and nuclear magnetic resonance identified the relevant residues and conformational determinants for the peptide-FGF interaction. This information was translated into a pharmacophore model used to screen the NCI2003 small molecule databases, leading to the identification of three small molecules that bound FGF-2 with affinity in the submicromolar range. The lead compounds inhibited FGF-2-induced endothelial cell proliferation in vitro and affected angiogenesis induced by FGF-2 in the chicken chorioallantoic membrane assay. These small molecules, therefore, represent promising leads for the development of antiangiogenic agents. Altogether, this study demonstrates that new biological insights obtained by integrated multidisciplinary approaches can be used to develop small molecule mimics of endogenous proteins as therapeutic agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8733-8742
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume285
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 19 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Medicine(all)

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